A few days ago I was lucky enough to drive a Porsche 911 (2011 Gen 2 997 Carrera S PDK) for the very first time. I won’t be getting used to the smell, the feel or the sound… it was a stolen kiss with a beautiful girl I’ve publicly had a crush on for ages…
And the emotions are just as hard to describe.
I got to a meeting and saw her parked outside. I went to say hello. The rear lights on the Gen 2 997 are spot on. They are the true departure from the 996 – something which the Gen 1 failed to do in so far as the rear is concerned. Reverting to round head-lamps got the front end sorted on the 997’s debut – the departure from the ‘fried-egg’ 996 headlamps being welcomed by Porsche enthusiasts back in late 2004. It is claimed that the shape of the headlamps on the 996 is largely to blame for the dramatic decrease in value over the years. Early 996 Carreras can now be bought for around 9k£. And that’s a lot of car for the price of a Dacia Duster. I strongly believe that 996 Turbos and GT3s are bargain supercars which will eventually appreciate in value.
Throughout the meeting I lusted after the keys on the table. And the less obvious I tried to make it, the more evident my thoughts and emotions were to all in the room. I call it the cleavage phenomenon.
As lunchtime approached and we walked out of the room, the client throws me the keys: “Take her for a spin – maybe you’ll concentrate on what we’re saying in the afternoon”. I opened the car and settled into the seat, and made myself (surprisingly) comfortable.
Time is limited, I’m hungry but I have to make the most of it. Drive fast, get to lunch faster, but get less time in the car. Drive slowly, get to lunch slower, savour more time in the car. I took a longer road – and drove faster.
What truly makes this car stand out is its versatility – the compliant ride and super comfortable seats give me the impression that I could use this car on long road trips without the fear of losing what’s left of the the shreds of disc between my vertebrae. Yet switch to Sports Chrono Plus and the car bites back, tightens its ass, and invites you to tickle the red line. The PDK is intuitive and very responsive and uncannily interprets your thoughts while driving. I’m from the ‘manual all the way’ school of thought, but this is a system I can actually see myself living with.
This is not the out-and-out sports car I had imagined. I cannot see myself tracking the car, trashing it, tinkering with it to increase bhp and scouring the internet for parts as I have done on every single car I have owned. This is a comfortable complete package which can be used daily to and from work and which you shall look forward to driving every single day you own it. Chuck a couple of bags in the front and this car shall double as a tourer for a trip with the wife or as a B road destroyer for a trip with your mate.
I have lusted for a 911 all my life. And now that I have driven one, it turns out to be a very different car to the one I always imagined. Do I still want one? More than ever before. But for totally different reasons.
And the bonus is that she looks so damn good from every angle. Subtle, not in-your-face beauty. She’s the beautiful nerd. With the dragon tattoo.